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Chapter Meeting – February 14, 2023 – “Understanding Soil Ecology – The Benefits to Native Plants”

Peggy Sechrist will discuss the magical relationships between soil microbes and plants and the importance of increasing organic matter in your soil. PEGGY SECHRIST, a practitioner and certified educator in Holistic Management, lives in Texas Hill Country with her husband, Richard, where they were the first Texas ranchers to create a certified organic, grass-fed beef operation […]

Chapter Meeting – March 14, 2023 – Pollinators

NPSOT member and Texas Master Naturalist, Sharon Hixson, will present a talk on pollinators commonly seen in our area at 2 pm at Riverside Nature Center.  There will be a  member meeting at 1:30 pm.  Hope to see you there! Our originally scheduled program on Water Resources and Management by Andy Sansom has been rescheduled […]

Spring Native Plant Sale – April 15th, 9am-Noon at Riverside Nature Center

Don’t miss our annual Spring Native Plant Sale at Riverside Nature Center.  The proceeds from this sale benefit our NPSOT chapter, Hill Country Master Naturalists and Riverside Nature Center. The plant sale committee is busy rounding up plants for the sale.  Our wishlist is here BUT check the list closer to the sale as many plants will be removed if not […]

Spring Native Plant Sale – April 15th, 9am-Noon at Riverside Nature Center

Don’t miss our annual Spring Native Plant Sale at Riverside Nature Center.  The proceeds from this sale benefit our NPSOT chapter, Hill Country Master Naturalists and Riverside Nature Center. The plant sale committee is busy rounding up plants for the sale.  Our wishlist is here BUT check the list closer to the sale as many plants will be removed if not […]

Chapter Meeting – May 9, 2023 – “Water Resources and Management”

Dr. Andrew Sansom is one of Texas’ leading conservationists. He is a former Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Executive Director of the Texas Nature Conservancy.  For his commitment to the management and protection of natural resources, he is a recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, The Chuck Yeager Award from […]

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About the Region

New Braunfels, the location of our Fall 2024 Symposium, straddles both the Edwards Plateau Ecoregion and the Blackland Prairie ecoregion. Interstate 35 divides the city of New Braunfels; its path through the city closely parallels the boundary of these two ecoregions, with the Edwards Plateau on the west side and the Blackland Prairies region to the east. The Edwards Plateau area is also called the Hill Country; however, this general term covers a much larger area extending farther north. Spring-fed creeks are found throughout the region; deep limestone canyons, rivers, and lakes (reservoirs) are common. Ashe juniper is perhaps the most common woody species found throughout the region. Additional woody species include various species of oak, with live oak (Quercus fusiformis) being the most common. Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) border waterways. This area is well known for its spring wildflower displays, though they may be viewed in spring, late summer, and fall, as well. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, average annual rainfall in the Edwards Plateau ranges from 15 to 34 inches.

The Blackland Prairie extends from the Red River south to San Antonio, bordered on the west by the Edwards Plateau and the Cross Timbers, and on the east by the Post Oak Savannah. Annual rainfall averages 30 to 40 inches, with higher averages to the east. This region is dominated by prairie species. The most common grass species include little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) in the uplands and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) in the riparian areas and drainages. Common herbaceous flowering plants include salvias, penstemons, and silphiums. This area has suffered greatly from overgrazing and agricultural use. Few intact areas remain, though many of the plants can be found along county roadsides throughout the region.

Our four host chapters (New Braunfels, Lindheimer, Guadalupe, and the Hill Country chapters) are located in one or both of the ecoregions above. However, the eastern portion of Guadalupe County also falls within the Post Oak Savanna ecoregion. Annual rainfall averages 35 to 45 inches, with higher averages to the east. A wide variety of hardwood trees are found, including several species of oaks, elms, and in the Bastrop area, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). Grasses and forbs dominate in the open savannas, with most common grass being little bluestem. Ranching, agriculture, and fire suppression have allowed woody species to encroach on the once-open savannas.

Source: Wildflowers of Texas by Michael Eason